It’s been clear over the past few years that Sears has been on a death-spiral and aside from closing down stores, the struggling retailer is beginning to sell off their assets as well. In a recent announcement, Stanley Black & Decker announced that they’re planning to acquire the Craftsman brand from Sears for $900 million.
In the terms of the agreement, Stanley Black & Decker will acquire rights to “Develop, Manufacture And Sell Craftsman Brand In Non-Sears Retail, Industrial & Online Channels” while Sears will continue to “Developing, Sourcing & Selling Craftsman In All Sears Retail Channels Under Perpetual License Agreement”. As a result, there will likely be a Sears in-house Craftsman brand that will be sold alongside the Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman brand.
Stanley Black & Decker believes that Craftsman can significantly improve their existing brand portfolio and expects Craftsman to bring in as much as $100 million a year over the next 10 years. Stanley Black & Decker has planning to to increase commercial expansion of the Craftsman brand as well as increase US manufacturing.
Overall, I’m optimistic about the acquisition. It’s clear that Sears isn’t putting as much effort into the Craftsman brand as they once have given that they have bigger issues to worry about so if Stanley Black & Decker gives Craftsman the attention it deserves, then it could significantly help return the brand to its former glory. However, whether or not Stanley Black & Decker puts the effort into revitalizing the brand is another story. On one hand, there’s a chance for Craftsman to turn into another DeWALT while on the other, it could turn into a Porter Cable and I really hope it’s the former.